Tag Archives: poetry

Day 1 of the 30-30 challenge for Nov…


…And, already, I’m behind by about 3k.

Last night, the storms came through with high winds that took out trees and powerlines near us. Needless to say, all electronic products in our home were unplugged. The large picture window rained — on the inside! — and I spent several hours mopping up water from the carpeted office floor. I’ll be so amused when we our lease expires and we move!

So, I’m behind in word counts…not only that, I’m at a brick foundation to a steel wall on where to go with my plot, my MFC doesn’t yet have a surname (One that goes with a female, auburn hair, brown eyes, clumsy as hell, and sarcastic, but that doesn’t not start with ‘M’), and my muse has decided that the only safe place to be is in the bottom of the coat closet curled among the hats and gloves. ARGH!

Okay, now that I’ve got that scream out of my system…back to writing. (scratches head and wonders if she can count these words toward goal….?)


30-30 is Rocking!


We’re starting our SECOND 30k-30d writing challenge in less than 24 hours…at midnight EST, to be exact.

We started our group October first ahead of Nano as all of us have participated before, but aren’t particularly found of the local ML for our area. We don’t like meeting in places that serve alcohol, and not all of us drink coffee or have laptops. In fact, most of our group must use public terminals because they don’t have computers at all in their homes. We’re from a lower income bracket, but our talents are strong! So, we met at the beginning of open registration for Nano at our library and we all grabbed a terminal and attempted to login for this year’s write. Of the initial 20 of us, only two were able to get in (both because they were using laptops and email providers that are not the most popular). Needless to say, we were not amused.

So, we decided to make our own group. Since then, we’ve grown from the 20 to 200. Most of us don’t have computers in our own homes, and the majority of us write by hand. We have poets, too. And, a few artists. We’re offered a 30 day challenge… the rest is open to the individual. Our first challenge has been a success, so we decided to do a Nov challenge as well.

I’m excited about it! Tomorrow, we’re having six different kick off parties across the tri-state area. Two of the groups are going to go to haunted houses. One group is going for pizza. One is meeting at the library for trick or treat, and the last group is meeting in the coffee shops meeting room. I’m going to be trapped at home passing out candy for trick or treat, but I’ll have my laptop set up with Dragon so I’ll still be able to write between the kiddos.

Wherever you are going to write, party, or trick or treat this weekend, be safe! Check your candy before eating it. Look both ways before crossing the street. And run, I mean RUN past the cemetery on your way to the next house! Happy Halloween! Happy Writing! See you next month!

Counting down to Write!


Nano officially opens at midnight…

It’s always these last few hours that leave me chomping at the bit and wanting to race forward. My characters are set, the setting is chosen, a plot is somewhat formed but open to change as the ms proceeds. All in all, I’m all set save for the actual writing. Also, today’s weather just really, really fits for what I was going to write in the opening scene. How cool is that?!!! — feeling excited.

Although I’ve been shunned by the group, I will write on!

A group of friends, both online and offline, have banded together to write for the month of November. We call ourselves the “30-30”. Our goal is a bit more reasonable than Nano’s 50k. We are doing 30k in 30 days. That’s about 2 pgs a day, which can be written in less than an hour for most people. It takes 33 days to develop a habit, so we felt that this would give ourselves the jumpstart that we needed to write every single day. Our facebook group is small with only 12 members, but our main group has grown this last month from just 5 members to over 200! WOW!

Most of our 200 members tried to sign up for Nano’s official site this year and found themselves blackballed. Nearly all have to use public terminals which results in multiple requests from the same ISP…A thing which the official Nano considers to be wrong. So, we decided to team up in our area and write together without Nano. We’re tracking words using our word processors. We’re talking in email and chat. And, we’re setting our own meetings around the tri-state area. Friday night, we’re having a kick-off. Some groups are going haunted housing, some are meeting at the library, or at the local coffee house.

Anyway, Nano got us all started, and that should be acknowledged. We all feel sad for the way Nano has devolved, but we’re remaining strong to our gifts and talents. Our SECOND 30-30 challenge begins at midnight. Enrollment is OPEN by honor system. We don’t have the bells and whistles of the Nano official site, but what we do have is determination to see our writing goals through.

Oh, did I mention that there’s still 15 days left for our FIRST challenge. Reports have it that 196 of our 200 are on target for their writing goals for the challenge. That’s AWESOME! To the four newbies, WELCOME! and we hope you join us for November!

Not to Nano…


As many of you know, I love to do Nano (www.nanowrimo.org) every year. I’ve been doing it every year since the turn of the millennium. That said, in the last two years, there’s been a distinct, and not so friendly, change out there in the world of Nano. I’ve seen a lot of bullying and intimidation in the forums (so much so, that I no longer participate in them) as well as through FB. This year, I found that I, along with all 20 of our writing groupies, have been “blacklisted as known spammers”, why? It appears that we all have the same ISP…well, of course we do, we all use the public library system computers to access the internet. So, needless to say, though I did get into the site via the use of a friends computer, I was unable to address the problem with the Nano people in a private way and had to throw a fit through an unrelated FB message to get to them.

Truthfully, and in all honesty, it’s not worth the hassle. Did I really seriously enjoy both the challenge and the sharing with other authors… YES! Did I enjoy setting a higher goal that would last me longer than a week…YES! Am I seriously annoyed that I had to use a fake name, fake email (which I had to create this week just to participate.)… YES! For a site that promotes that you use your real name, real *, etc. Needless to say, if it’s got me this stressed, even before I pick up a pen or hit a key, then, it’s just not worth it.

A group of us, all Nano REJECTS, have decided to form our own group where we set our individual goals, genres, and styles. We decided to run from October 15 – November 15 so we can all be done before the holiday. It will be nice not to have to hide away trying to meet a writing goal while the family is enjoying the day. All 20 of our writing group has joined, as well as about 50 others who like the date spread, and the freedom of choosing a genre and style. That makes over 70 former Nano veterans and newbies who have jumped ship. The kickoff party was great last night (tons of pizza and pop consumed). Saturday, we’re all meeting at a friend’s farm to write together and have a barbeque complete with a haunted hayride, and followed by going haunted housing!

We’ve even invited a group of artistic individuals to join our group. They are going to do a comparable challenge with their artwork. It’s going to be fun!

Nano might not want us, but it won’t keep us from writing, or enjoying the process!

To all you Nanites who may stumble upon this, I wish you all the luck in the world for reaching your goals and enjoying the month!

Museum Memory


I walked through the cool recesses of the museum.
past the displays of ancient times onto the section of war.
Recent wars, wars that we learned about in school.
Banners, criss-crossing the air, each broadcasting the propaganda
meant to drive the mighty war machine of men and women.
I walked silently, reverently, past the children
gleefully playing at war on the old tanks and jeeps,
while parents watched, laughing, from the sidelines.
I walked past the displays of memorabilia, pieces of history,
collected as souvenirs, from the fallen bodies
of those we considered our enemies,
instead, just mere lives, tragically cut short by the war.
My mind, and body, are drawn instinctively,
to the display at the end.
The wall that pulls all the displays together, and perhaps,
gives some meaning to those who will listen.
Displays that capture a moment in time
that will forever remain entombed here.
The very wall, that I now stand before.
The very wall that now reaches out,
and with a fierceness grabs and holds my heart
in its soul-piercing grasp.
There it is!

The sum total of this not so ancient war.

There it is!

It is hanging in all it’s crisp folds and pristine stars!
It’s color’s brightly preserved for the future generations,
who will look on it, and question, Why?

Our flag is now safely ensconced
within it’s controlled environment casement.
But for as much as the flag alone means, to those of us
who call ourselves Americans.
It is not the flag that yanks at the heart and soul,
bringing the hot, regretful tears to my eyes.
My soul is pierced to the very core by the old, bent and rusted dog tags,
No doubt found on some distant body unknown to me.
They are glued in their place,
to look like they have been lovingly hung on the corner
of the old, yellowed photograph just today.
The photo is of a handsome, uniformed man,
caught in a moment with a gentle smile on his lips,
reminiscent of his cherished youthful exuberance.

He is now, never to grow old, forever caught as a youth.
His gentle life lost on some far away shores.
Now remembered, in the climate controlled atmosphere of a museum,
where children play at war on the very means of his destruction.

Lee McQuinn

Seriously need a quick answer here from New York City Folks…


Anyone who knows New York City well…
I’m looking for a non-Catholic church in the vicinity of the twin towers memorial…
also a hotel in that same area.

In my story the name of the church appears on page one within a wedding invitation. The couple will be honeymooning the week leading up to that horrid day. The last names of the characters are Berghoffer and Wyndham…both old money names, if that helps.

If you can help with this info let me know in a comment,
please, I need it for my manuscript.



The muses are IN!



Stand by for the pinning of the muse! This rascally team of four will stand guard of the words. From left to right: Hello Kitty (the muse that keeps it clean); Taco (the muse that jetison’s garbage); Marvin Martian (the muse that fights for alien rights and avoidance of stereotypical characters), and Bungle. Bungle is new to the crew, but he keeps sticking his head into ideas that ought not to be written in polite company). Together, this team will guard the gates of wordage counts with gusto, having 16gb of punch between them!

0800 – Day 1 NanoCamp~ Letter Home


“Hello, mudda, hello, faddah, here I am at camp **#@&%@#(%@#(%#!”

I’ve signed in, got my cabin assignment, and lost my muse somewhere on the bus!

LOL! No, I’m not going to take anything connected to Virtual Camp seriously! It’s all about fun!

What am I writing this month…well, that’s the BIG question, now, isn’t it? Answer: I have no freakin’ clue!

It’s been suggested that I write another book in the Hope Ranch Series… an interesting prospect, but maybe too serious.

It’s been suggested that I write another book in the Designer Disease Series… again, an interesting prospect, but I’m a little burned out on war stories and self-destructive motives of insanity.

It’s been suggested that I pack my backpack and go out and meditate in the wilderness… and, while this thought is very appealing on so many levels it isn’t pitiful, the forecast is calling for scattered storms. We ALL know that if I go out…it is guaranteed that I’ll get wet! Not saying that rain is bad, mind you, but I’m really not in the mood to sit on a boulder, soaked to the skin, trying to write cheerful, happily-ever-after stories. I’d be more likely to use my notebook to start a fire and hide under a tarp beside it.

So, that leaves me on Day1 with absolutely no clue as to where I’ll be headed. Wish me luck…and hey, if you see my muses…can you send them back?

Camp Nano!!! IT’s time to camp out with the Words!



If you look for me in July, I’m at Camp Nano. My Nano name is: Buffalo Starmedicine. This is my profile pic, there this time around. With a face like that… just sayin! By July 31, I should have the rough draft for September Rains ready for a rigorous editing. I’m still awaiting cabin assignment, though.

New Computer hits the road!


Yippee! I have a new desktop and a laptop, too! I’m ready to hit the ground running again! I can’t say what a relief it is to have my technology back in hand!

So, what have I been doing… hmmm… a lot of nitching about not having tech!

Other than that, my house is spotless (cat is hiding in terror that I’ll vacuum again!), Hubs has had home cooked meals for two weeks, writing by hand about 20k of words, and oh, of course, shopping. Killing hours walking the stores for exercise since it’s way tooo hot for me outside.

Now that I’m back, I’m preparing for Nanowrimo.org’s July Nanocamp. It’s a writing thing. If you’re really interested, google National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) and learn what it is. I don’t have time to explain…I’ve got plotlines to plot, characters to create, and pictures to take for inspiration. Got to pack my virtual bags for Camp, now, don’t I.